Sewage spill at beach costs £200,000
- Prosecution ,
- Pollution & Waste Management ,
- Water ,
- Environment agencies
A fault at a wastewater pumping station led to numerous discharges of untreated effluent into the sea near Margate and has resulted in Southern Water being fined £200,000
The company pleaded guilty to breaching its permit for the Foreness Point pumping station between January and July 2011.
Canterbury crown court was told that sewage is pumped by the station to a treatment plant before being returned and the treated water discharged into the sea, normally through a 1.9km pipe.
However, David Warbank, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said that during the seven-month period 101 hours of untreated effluent were discharged through the pipe, a further 44 hours through a much shorter pipe, and, for 17 minutes, discharges went straight on to beaches via an emergency pipe.
Southern Water blamed a design fault on the housing of four pumps at the Foreness site. The company has since spent £1.7 million rectifying the fault and plans to spend a further £400,000 upgrading the pumping station.
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